Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bounty emerging

We are in that strange in-between time when the garden is lush and pregnant with possibility, but the cool weather crops are finished and high tomato season hasn't yet arrived. The tomato vines and pepper plant hang heavy with blossoms and I ripened bounty. You can see the onslaught headed our way. But beyond a stray squash (they have been destroyed by fungus) and beautiful handfuls of purple runners, the daily haul seems light. 

We supplement with a CSA, so we have plenty that is locally sourced. Our neighbors have space and time for some crops that we don't. So we do have a bowl full of squash and cucumbers, cauliflower and red cabbage to put to good use. 

But in the resourcefulness of this thin week in the season, there have been some brilliant surprises.

The rhubarb is fighting the heat and yielded a modest fourth picking. That became rhubarb chutney to accompany a cauliflower dal.  

The cilantro has gone to seed, but the sun has not yet toasted the coriander seeds that follow. Like bright green to yellowish-green berries, when crushed they emit a lovely cross between the brightness of fresh cilantro and the warmth of coriander.  They went into the dal, rounding out the curry and giving the whole dish a new profile.

The dill is slowly going to seed. There is something deeply satisfying about gathering up the seeds, knowing that while the volume is small, the harvest will season a range of things throughout the year.

An immature jalepeno added the right flavor to a coconut fish curry for last night's dinner. Round that curry out with some ever-present zucchini and the remaining Thai basil from this week's CSA and some purple opal and sweet basil from our own front herb bed and...yum. Just yum. Even better today as a lunch leftover.

The neighbor's cucumbers met with more of the opal basil and a fig balsamic vinegar we bought in Maine. Topped with some feta, I think I could make a meal out of the dish. And maybe I will tonight!

The blackberry canes are yielding about a cup of bright berries a day...perfect for yogurt in the morning.

Tonight's food adventure must necessarily address cabbage. I wish I'd planted potatoes. I am seeing some rift on new potatoes, braised cabbage and sausage. Goodness.

There is so much joy in maximizing the possibility...even in the thin weeks awaiting tomatoes, pasillo, jalepeno and Anaheim peppers, figs (!!!!), blackberries, eggplant, grapes....


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